When danger strikes, a speedy and safe rescue effort can mean the difference between life and death for trapped miners. Adequate training is essential, as rescuers must be available and ready to respond on a moment’s notice.
The Mine Act requires that every operator of an underground mine assure the availability of mine rescue teams for purposes of emergency rescue and recovery of trapped or injured miners. Rescue teams must receive adequate training in accordance with 30 CFR Part 49.8 for underground metal and nonmetal mines, and 30 CFR Part 49.18 for underground coal mines. Mine rescue contests and simulations are an essential part of the training process, and ensure that teams receive hands-on exposure to a range of potential hazards and mine emergency scenarios.
Mine rescue contests are designed to sharpen skills and test the knowledge of team members who would be called on to respond to a mine emergency. The contest requires team members to solve a hypothetical problem while being timed and observed by judges according to complex rules.
MSHA’s Mine Rescue Instruction Guides help mines meet mine rescue team training requirements under 30 CFR Part 49. Instructors and trainers can use the guides to either supplement existing mine rescue training, or tailor a program to fit their mine-specific training needs.
October 30th is Mine Rescue Day – a time to recognize the dedication and sacrifice of volunteers who risk their own lives to save other miners.